Why Group Reporting Over BPC?
There have been a lot of debates in the market on whether one should stick to SAP BPC module or shift to use group reporting. Let us take a closer look at both to gain a better understanding about why businesses are choosing group reporting BPC.
What is SAP BPC?
SAP BPC or Business Planning and Consolidation is a SAP module that is available with planning, budget, forecast, and financial consolidation capabilities. The module provides a unified solution to support Performance Management processes like adjust plans and forecasts or speed up the budget and closing cycles and is available to provide a single view of financial and operational data.
Features of SAP BPC
SAP BPC module can hold master and transaction data like any other platform. It is available with various other features such as:
- Unified: The platform allows planning and consolidation in one product, which reduces the burden of maintenance, enhances data integrity, and simplifies deployment. It also offers the comfort of flexible planning & consolidation functions.
- Owned and Managed by Business Users: This module requires little to no IT dependence and can be managed easily by the business users.
- Open & Adaptable: This module extends the value of the user’s investment in both SAP and non-SAP environments.
- Easy to Use: With an ability to support native Microsoft Office tools like Excel and web browsers accessing a central database, this tool is easy to use.
- Align Financial and Operational Plans: SAP BPC allows the user to determine financial goals and operational plans with strategic objectives.
- Reduces Budget Cycle Time: It helps to reduce budget cycle time for the user.
Attributes of SAP BPC
SAP BPC is available with built-in functionalities for:
- Strategic Planning: It gets easier for the team to define its vision, mission, core values, and objectives. They get to find answers to questions like what the company wants to do, how it wants to do, how to measure it, and the operating units required for the goals, to mention a few.
- Budgeting: This aims at proactive management and measurement of corporate performance by finding answers to questions like how to execute corporate strategy at operating unit level, measuring what operating units do, etc.
- Reporting: This helps in ensuring that the performance is properly monitored, problems are anticipated, and efforts are continuously put-in for improvement. It is done by finding what information would help manage decision making, ways to control performance of corporate, and similar other concepts.
- Forecasting: It is aimed at predicting the future outcomes and is conducted to keep a tab on the changes that have occurred in both external and internal environments. Its main purpose is to provide more accurate information for less risk management planning and decision making.
What is Group Reporting?
Group reporting is a solution offered by SAP that supports the computation, creation, and disclosure of consolidated reports providing information on the performance of a corporate group. It consists of topics such as consolidation process and analytical reports, obtains the financial records directly from the SAP S/4HANA system, feasibly supplemented with external data via API or manual data entry.
Features of Group Reporting
Group reporting is available with several impressive features for its users. A few of these are as mentioned below:
- Dependency on ERP Accounting Financial Statements: This tool ends the need of touching the basic accounting system with its new concept called Financial Statement (FS) Items. FS Items provide flexibility to increase or decrease the granularity of data in group reports and customizes the exposure of operational accounting data to the corporate group level. It allows for direct mapping of the legal and management accounting from the universal journal and drilling down from reports to the operational accounting journal.
- Improved Flexibility Using Consolidation Versions: A consolidation version helps to identify a separate data area in the consolidation database. These versions make it possible to consolidate different sets of financial data as well as aids to perform separate methods of consolidation on the same set of underlying data.
- Direct Access To Legal And Management Accounting: Group reporting allows direct access to legal and management accounting from the Universal Journal. This does not require an ETL or data warehousing tool to transfer the financial records.
- Minimizes Data Replication: Fully aligned with SAP S/4HANA key concepts of real-time data access, the tool minimizes data replication (both transactional and master data) and reconciliation. This enables the user to obtain a detailed perspective of the business at any point in time, speeding up the closing process, and giving more time to analyze and take business decisions.
- Easy to Manage: Group reporting does not necessarily require an IT team to manage. It can be easily managed by the consolidation team without any technical support, even if it requires connection to S/4HANA Finance.
- Replaces Group Chart of Accounts: This tool has introduced Financial Statement (FS) Items, which has replaced the Group Chart of Accounts. Their setup and maintenance are done inside Group Reporting, which implies that there is no impact on the Operating Chart of Accounts.
Group Reporting Over BPC
Group reporting is preferred over BPC by the businesses due to several reasons such as:
- It eliminates the need for periodic data loads into a separate system.
- It brings all configuration items into a single tool.
- It supports easier import of data and displays the first error message easily and clearly.
- Running calculations and seeing the logs is easier with group reporting.
- Running a report in a click is also supported with the tool.
- Consolidated data can be easily traced using group reporting.
- Integration with latest analytical reporting tool (SAP Analytics Cloud) is easy.
SAP has taken away the drawbacks of the previous tools and offered its best in group reporting. With the changing times, it would further improve its tool and make things better for the benefit of the businesses.